Mol Biochem Parasitol. 2012 May 8. [Epub ahead of print]
Biochemical and molecular characterization of the pyrimidine biosynthetic enzyme dihydroorotate dehydrogenase from Toxoplasma gondii
Triana MA, Huynh MH, Garavito MF, Fox BA, Bzik DJ, Carruthers VB, Löffler M, Zimmermann BH.
Departamento de Ciencias Biologicas, Universidad de los Andes, Carrera 1, No. 18A-10, Bogotá, Colombia.
The pyrimidine biosynthesis pathway in the protozoan pathogen Toxoplasma gondii is essential for parasite growth during infection. To investigate the properties of dihydroorotate dehydrogenase (TgDHOD), the fourth enzyme in the T. gondii pyrimidine pathway, we expressed and purified recombinant TgDHOD. TgDHOD exhibited a specific activity of 84 U/mg, a k(cat) of 89 sec(-1), a K(m)=60μM for L-dihydroorotate, and a K(m)=29μM for decylubiquinone (Q(D)). Quinones lacking or having short isoprenoid side chains yielded lower k(cat)s than Q(D). As expected, fumarate was a poor electron acceptor for this family 2 DHOD. The The IC(50)s determined for A77-1726, the active derivative of the human DHOD inhibitor leflunomide, and related compounds MD249 and MD209 were, 91μM, 96μM, and 60μM, respectively. The enzyme was not significantly affected by brequinar or TTFA, known inhibitors of human DHOD, or by atovaquone. DSM190, a known inhibitor of Plasmodium falciparum DHOD, was a poor inhibitor of TgDHOD. TgDHOD exhibits a lengthy 157-residue N-terminal extension, consistent with a potential organellar targeting signal. We constructed C-terminally c-myc tagged TgDHODs to examine subcellular localization of TgDHOD in transgenic parasites expressing the tagged protein. Using both exogenous and endogenous expression strategies, anti-myc fluorescence signal colocalized with antibodies against the mitochondrial marker ATPase. These findings demonstrate that TgDHOD is associated with the parasite's mitochondrion, revealing this organelle as the site of orotate production in T. gondii. The TgDHOD gene appears to be essential because while gene tagging was successful at the TgDHOD gene locus, attempts to delete the TgDHOD gene were not successful in the KU80 background. Collectively, our study suggests that TgDHOD is an excellent target for the development of anti-Toxoplasma drugs.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier B.V.
PMID: 22580100 [PubMed - as supplied by publisher]